The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and SenseTime today announced that SenseTime, a leading artificial intelligence (AI) company, is joining MIT’s efforts to define the next frontier of human and machine intelligence.
SenseTime was founded by MIT alumnus Xiao’ou Tang PhD ’96 and specializes in computer vision and deep learning technologies.
The MIT-SenseTime Alliance on Artificial Intelligence aims to open up new avenues of discovery across MIT in areas such as computer vision, human-intelligence-inspired algorithms, medical imaging, and robotics; drive technological breakthroughs in AI that have the potential to confront some of the world’s greatest challenges; and empower MIT faculty and students to pursue interdisciplinary projects at the vanguard of intelligence research.
SenseTime is the first company to join a new Institute-wide initiative, the MIT Intelligence Quest, since its launch on Feb. 1 2018. The MIT Intelligence Quest seeks to leverage the Institute’s strengths in brain and cognitive science and computer science to advance research into human and machine intelligence in service to all humanity.
“As an MIT alumnus, I’m grateful to have this opportunity to collaborate with my alma mater,” says Tang, who is also a professor of information engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Li Xu, CEO and co-founder of SenseTime, adds, “MIT has long been at the forefront of research into artificial intelligence. As the largest provider of AI algorithms in China, SenseTime has worked with more than 400 leading customers and partners to solve hard, real-world problems. We are very excited to join hands with MIT to lead global AI research into the next frontier.”
Tan conducted his PhD research in underwater robotics and computer vision at the Institute more than 25 years ago, applying computer vision to the study and classification of underwater imagery. One of his advisors was W. Eric L. Grimson PhD ’80, now the chancellor for academic advancement at MIT and the Bernard M. Gordon Professor of Medical Engineering.
MIT has been on the frontier of intelligence research since the 1950s, when pioneers Marvin Minsky and John McCarthy helped establish the field of artificial intelligence. MIT pushed several major advances in the subsequent decades, from neural networks to data encryption to quantum computing to crowdsourcing.
Considered China’s leading AI “unicorn” valued at more than $3 billion, SenseTime has developed a sophisticated proprietary deep learning platform and built applications for multiple industries. The company has offices in Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Kyoto, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, and Tokyo.